Critical Access ER or Level II ER

by Hseroner91 Hseroner91 (New) New Nurse

Specializes in ER. Has 7 years experience.

Been a nurse in the e.r. for about 5 years, all at level 2 hospitals. Moving to a much less populated area and  I have an opportunity to work at a critical access er, 20 min from home - 8 beds. I've never worked critical access before, so this would be new for me. Another opportunity is at a level 2 hospital e.r. but 1 hour away (winters are apparently bad where I'll be going, so the drives during the Winter may be worrisome).


Got a couple kiddos, spouse works regular 8 to 4 job. One kiddo has medical needs to where we don't trust anyone watching said kiddo, so we've been tag teaming watching the kiddos when the other is at work. The CAH job opptunity works better for family life.

I guess my question is - what would you choose? I'm leaning toward CAH but am nervous. I've read a lot about the pros and cons of emergency nursing at a CAH, but what's everyone take here? Did your ER skills slow down at all because of low census times? Did your er skills get even better because you're working with nothing so you gotta roll with all you've got??

Additionally, if I want to go back to a bigger hospital ER would working at a CAH better my chances of getting hired or do recruiters and other nurse managers look down on CAH ER nurses? Not trying to be negative about CAH nurses at all!! I just don't know how the hiring people up top view CAH nurses. 

Thanks for all of your input!

40 minutes vs 120 minutes in a car.

1 hr and 20 minutes extra to sleep or spend time with the family. 

Sorry- what was the question?

CAH can be pretty interesting.  When the defecation hits the oscillation, there is no massive team.  You and 1 or 2 others.  It's a challenge.  You might like it better.  And, unless things change drastically in the future- you can get a job at a trauma center whenever you like.

But- only you can weigh job satisfaction vs family obligations.